What was the first show you were in at The 5th?
My first show was Gypsy in 2001(with Matt Owen!) I played a Hollywood Blonde and the front end of the cow, respectively.
How many shows have you done at The 5th in total?
I’ve lost count. I do, however, remember exactly where I was when I got my first offer at the 5th. I was home for Christmas in Gresham, Oregon. I cried tears of joy. I continue to be grateful for every moment I get to spend on this stage.
How do you feel you have evolved as an artist over the years?
When I first started my career, the “gift” I gave myself after each show was to have the poster of the production framed. Maybe I thought I wasn’t going to be doing this that long (I had initially set out to be an archeologist), but needless to say, I ran out of both funds and wall space to continue that treat-yo-self idea. So with that, I’ll say I’ve grown to have a wee more confidence in myself and to know solidly where my strengths are as an artist. That said, there are things that still terrify me, so there’s always something to work on.
Who are some of the people you have acted for or with who have inspired you or motivated you to be better, particularly at The 5th?
Oh, there are too many to name! I’ve been so fortunate with my time here in Seattle as well as New York City to have worked with some absolutely AMAZING artists and creatives. My nearly 20-year career as a triple threat has been shaped immensely by just watching others—seeing artists work tirelessly to develop a scene, sing with grit and guts, appear to dance so tall when they’re really so short, or chew scenery like it’s taffy. So many friends in this business are, simply by just being themselves, master classes on musical theatre.
What are you looking forward to about Holiday Inn?
The fabulous dancing! The stunning costumes! My hilarious friends! This swoon-worthy era! And the cookies! Any cookies.
What is it like to be in a holiday show at The 5th
A holiday show at the 5th is truthfully very busy! My family lives in Oregon and when I’m doing a show there just isn’t quite enough time to get down there for Christmas. What’s wonderful though, is that the 5th Avenue always makes everyone feel like family with its own holiday traditions. The tree-trimming party is my favorite—just the coziest, most joyful day. Cast, crew and creative gather together in the lobby on a break during one of our long technical rehearsals. We trim the tree, take lots of “family” photos, and usually end up eating so much that when we head back to rehearsal, our costumes magically have shrunk.
- Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Food, friends and football! (Go Hawks!)
- Favorite cold-weather beverage? Whatever goes with bourbon
- Cake or pie? Peach pie and German Chocolate cake. I don’t do this one or the other nonsense.
- Underrated musical? Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party
- Favorite thing about Seattle at the holidays? (A show at the 5th!) The twinkly lights everywhere. The crisp, salty air coming off the Sound. Two open lanes and extra attendants in the parking garage.
Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn plays November 24 – December 31 at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Click here for tickets.
Photo credit Mark Kitaoka.